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clinton speech

Originally uploaded by l@in.

Today, Joanna and I met up with a friend to go see Hillary Clinton’s final campaign speech at the National Building Museum. We waited in the hot June sun with hundreds of others snaking around the building until we finally got inside. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait in the heat for too long, though we couldn’t see much from the second floor. We did hear the applause for Terry McAuliffe as he arrived and joked amongst ourselves that perhaps Bill had stopped off for a snack at the Burger King nearby as we watched the clock and waited.

Clinton is great speaker. She certainly did not disappoint today as she managed to address the disappointment of her supporters, the historic nature of her campaign, the need for full inclusion in the Democratic Party, and throw her full support under Barak Obama as the presidential nominee in a concise and eloquent manner.

I won’t lie, I’m genuinely sad that she didn’t get the nomination. I believe she is the best candidate for the job. I am also sad that this election will not send the first woman to the White House in a position other than First Lady.

I am, however, heartened by her speech. In hearing it live, as well as having time to reflect while awaiting her arrival I realized that there are important take-aways from her campaign. These points are especially pertinent to me as a woman. It’s difficult to explain, but I do feel that this election process has exposed the very serious cracks in the foundation our nation was built on. Sexism and racism are still present in our collective psyche. They are easy issues to ignore or try and overlook because they’re difficult to deal with. They’re messy, and personal, and emotional, but in order to really deal with them, one must do it head-on. It requires dialog both internal and external. There is no excuse for either, but I do feel as if sexism is easier to ignore. I heard a pundit on tv once I returned home this evening talking about how the idea of a glass ceiling was a “ridiculous” idea. Granted, the man was on Fox news, but I was still shocked that he said it. Shocked that he thought that was an okay comment to make as if months ago almost every news poll was asking the question if America was ready for a female President. They asked the question if we were ready for a black President too, and frankly I’m just kind of appalled that we’ve got to ask the question, even though it’s clear that we do, because we’re not sure about the answer.

Anyway, it’s a lot to process. Seeing Clinton speak this afternoon was inspiring to me. She was confident and gracious and conceded without being defeatist. I think it’s a good lesson. It got me thinking about what I might do to change my thinking about failures, both small and large, and how to work towards success in my own life. I came up with points made in Clinton’s speech today that I think would be helpful to me.

1. It’s okay to be proud and vocal about your accomplishments.

One of the first comments I heard about the speech today while watching the news was that she talked about herself a lot. My first thought was well… yeah, it was about her campaign. But then I really thought about it – she is able to talk about her own accomplishments without being self-aggrandizing. I think that’s important, especially for women, because I think we’re taught to down-play what we do and wait for someone else to congratulate us for our accomplishments, which ultimately, doesn’t do anyone any good.

2. Don’t stop just because other’s think you should.

People have been advocating that Clinton drop out of the race for months. If she had, we may never have seen just how much support was out there. I think it’s a good lesson in not giving up, trying your best, and having faith in yourself and your goals.

3. Just because you fight hard, doesn’t mean you’re going to win.

I think that sums it up. Along with this though, I think it’s easy to assume that because you didn’t win you weren’t good enough to win. In actuality, that’s not always the case.

4. Be thankful.

Clinton was thankful for the opportunity to run for President, for her supporters, her family and friends, and for the opportunities afforded her. It’s cheesy, but it’s easy to forget to be thankful.

5. Be gracious, exhibit grace.

Throughout the campaign, and even before really, I have always been a little amazed at Clinton’s graciousness. The speech she gave today must have been extraordinarily difficult, but she did it very well. I feel as if the ability to do this is born of a little hardship.

But that’s it. It was a good race. Now, time for a Democrat in the White House.

So I still haven’t done a proper write up on the Israel trip. I still mean to do it; we’ll see if it happens.¬† We did go visit friends in Vermont¬† last week and had a blast. We took the train, which is a lengthy, but an inexpensive and relaxing trip. We hung out in Burlington and in Island Pond in the NE Kingdom (I kept calling it the magic kingdom -oops.) It was my first time in VT and my first time seeing the businesses my friend has been running in IP and it was a very good time, indeed. Island Pond is so isolated and beautiful and Burlington is crunchy and friendly. I’d happily go back. Perhaps skiing this winter?

Anyway, thanks to all who fed and housed and hung out with us. We’d love to do it again.

it occurs to me that no one would ever respond to a person who’s face had been disfigured in, what say, a car accident that at least they got a free face lift out of it. however the “at least you got a free boob job” seems to be a surprisingly frequent response to women who’ve had reconstruction after breast cancer.

fortunately no one has ever actually said this to me within my range of hearing or in conversation, but if they did, i promise that my response would not be pretty.


essentials

Originally uploaded by l@in.
As you may or may not have known, I had surgery again yesterday. This time I did a really bad job of communicating to people what was going on, so if I’ve left you out of the loop, I apologize now. Work has been incredibly busy, however well it’s going, but I’ve also logged close to 50 hrs. a week or more for the last 6 weeks or so. I know that’s normal for some people, and if it is, my hat is off to you. This kind of schedule left me exhausted and feeling as if I had little time to myself, which sucked especially right before surgery.

Anyway, yesterday morning I had a prophylactic, simple mastectomy on my left breast and a tissue expander was placed, just like the last time. Since there is no known cancer in this breast, a sentinel node biopsy wasn’t done. I think this combined with better pain and nausea management left me feeling much better after the surgery and with a far greater range of mobility. Pete and Mark actually came to visit last night at the hospital, which gave Joanna a nice chance at a break from napping on an uncomfortable looking chair in my room, and they were treated to a puke-less evening, which was unexpected.

Making the decision to have a prophylactic mastectomy wasn’t an easy one, and may seem a bit draconian. Getting diagnosed with even low-grade breast cancer at 28, genuinely freaked me out. Especially considering that I had related symptoms at 26. Receiving negative results from my genetic BRCA1 & 2 testing made me more nervous than anything. It meant that I probably wouldn’t need to make any drastic decisions about removing my ovaries, but it did leave me with no reason whatsoever as to why I had breast cancer at such a young age. It made sense to me to try an lower my risk as much as possible, and a mastectomy on the seemingly healthy breast accomplished that. There was actually an interesting article in the NY Times about this process last Sunday.

So now I’m home, and anticipating a whole foods run for dinner tonight. I’m actually feeling pretty good, and considering how I felt last time, I’m surprised by how functional I am.

In other news, it’s been a big week as I turned 30 on Wednesday – eek. Thanks for coming out to the party at Be Bar, and for all the gifts and good wishes. And a special thanks to Allison who trekked all the way in from Chicago for the weekend. It was a real treat having her in town. Among other things, Joanna gave me seasons 3 & 4 of Sex in the City. I bet they’ll be close to finished before the weekend is out… off to it!

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